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About Glaysche

  • Birthday 01/12/1975

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  1. Very cool. I went through a lot of iterations on the bottom tilt axis of my robotic arm. I ended up using two motors for this axis and a relatively complicated gear train. I posted about it here: I also noticed in the video that some of the axes have a bit of a jerky motion when moving. I had this same problem. The way I ended up improving that was to do the gear reduction as late as possible in the gear train. This kept the torque as low as possible through most of the gear train and the axles twisted less and acted less like springs. This smoothed things out considerably. it also improved the backlash a bit. All the backlash in the low torque portion of the gear train is reduced by the final gear reduction. My final bend axis on the wrist is still a little jerky. Because of space constraints, I couldn't fit more gear reduction where I needed it. I might try to revisit that at some point. I'm curious about which motors and sensors you are using in the arm. Are you using the sensors for calibration? Any more detailed photos?
  2. I did a big update to the bottom tilt axis. This axis would work well until something stressed the arm like driving it into the end stop. At that point, it would often skip gears and twist the axle. I took my own advice of never having too much overkill and fixed it for good, I hope. The high-stress axle / gear that was breaking was the axle and 12t gear that was driving the turn table. The previous design had two 12t gears on each turntable for a total of 4 12t gears driving the axis. I changed that to be 4 12t gears for each turntable for a total of 8 gears driving the axis. This should reduce the stress on each axle by about a factor of two and hopefully operate with good margins going forward. This is what it looks like now: You can see 3 of the 4 28t gears that are attached to the 12t gears driving the turntable. With this change, I was able to eliminate the "spring balance" which makes me happy because that's the only truly rare part needed to build this model. There are still some rare lime green parts but if you change the color, this entire model can be built with common parts available on Bricks and Pieces (plus the one 3D printed part that was discussed earlier). I also added better bracing and generally made things more robust. Zoom into the base: And pull it out of the robot. You can see a couple of the 12t gears on the far turntable. Take the outer axle support off and you can see 3 24t gears that connect the two sets of gears together. You can also see the 8t gear at the bottom which is given by internal gears which are driven by the 2 XL motors. This gearing gave me an extra 3:1 gearing in the system. I compensated that by changing the internal gears to not gear down as much. Take that layer of gears off and you see the 4 critical axles on this side (identical on the other side, of course). I use the 28:8 gears because it reduces the torque as much as possible as close as possible to the load. The other axles and gears have never had any problems with this design. The extra 24:8 step down is also very important because the axle that goes into the internal gears is relatively long. Having high torque there would cause a lot of twisting of the axle during operation which would make the motion less smooth. This ended up working much better than before. Here is a 13 second video of it moving: (Embedding a video from Flickr didn't seem to work so here's the raw link.) So overall, there are now 38 gears in this gear train including the turntables themselves. Is it too much overkill? Naw, probably just the right amount of overkill. I'm super happy with how well it is working and how robust it has been.
  3. Here is a minor update. I added some reinforcements and improved the mounting of the top of the "spring balance" shock absorbers. You can see the triangular bracing in this picture. It probably makes a small difference. One improvements I really liked was the triangular bracing for shock absorbers: I was able to fit a half beam between the bump on the L motor and the 5x7 frame. The motor locks the beams in place.
  4. Glaysche

    [MOC] Pottinger TERRASEM R3 seeder

    I would buy sets like this over a super car every day of the week. This is amazing.
  5. After replacing the axles w/ stops with standard 5L axles, things worked better but there was still some strange behavior under high stress. That's when I noticed an issue with how the vertical arm was attached to the base. Here's a mock-up of that in colors that are easier to photograph: The arm is attached using both 5x7 L beams (inside the turntable tabs) and the 3x3 T beams. What I noticed under high stress was something that looked like this: The structure was held together with friction and started to pull apart under load. To fix it, I made this piece: And installed it inside: And added some more reinforcements: With these changes the bottom tilt joint now moves much smoother. There is also less creaking during operation. The lesson I keep learning is that there is never too much overkill when it comes to solid structure. If you can find a way to get better cross bracing, everything ends up working better, every time.
  6. Thank you for your kind words. I tried the standard LBG 5L axle and it seems to be working well so far. Thank you for the suggestion. I was using the axle with a stop because I have always try to use an axle with a stop when it fits. It eliminates one way the axle can slide. In this case, I think it will be perfectly ok to use a standard axle. What would be ideal in this situation would be an axle like one of these except be 5L long -- the solid bit would be in the middle, 2l axle on each side: This application has (pin hole, 12t gear, pin hole, 28t gear, pin hole). All the stress happens in the middle segment between the two gears.
  7. I did some improvements. Here's the overall picture: There were 3 big problems I wanted to solve. First, the connection at the top was relatively weak and relied on friction to hold it together. The new one is much better and form locked together with a simpler, more robust gear train: I think it may look a bit better aesthetically, as well. The second big problem was the tilt joint at the bottom sometimes struggled under the load and was geared down such that it was already pretty slow. It was powered by a PoweredUp XL motor. The solution was to put in 2 XL motors for more power and change the gearing to make it faster. The motor module looks like: Which goes in this spot: This is less geared down than before and overall works much better. The final problem to solve was the rotation axis on the base sometimes skipped gears under high acceleration. This was fixed by driving the turntable with two gears and building a new gear train and motor mounting to support that. Because the space that was previously used to hold the hub is now filled with motors, I needed a different way to mount the hub: As a bonus, this provides a bit more counterweight and helps the arm stay a bit better balanced. As I mentioned in a previous post, this is pushing Lego to its limits. Here's an axle after much abuse. This is one of four axles driving the two turntables for the bottom tilt axis -- the highest stress point in the whole robotic arm: I think this happened as the result of me mis-assembling the joint and having this axle taking the brunt of the stress instead of equally sharing the load with the other 3 axles. It's a cool looking failure, though. Comments, criticisms, and suggestions are always welcome.
  8. These are really cool. I really like the multiple speeds on the drill press with the pulleys.
  9. My dream set on the survey is the Perseverance Mars rover as a flagship. There is so much you could do with that.
  10. Thank you very much! One other thing I thought was interesting: This is the main vertical arm. The basic cross section is 5x5 studs. I needed a motor in it so I was able to fit an L motor inside. The motor is actually part of the structure providing strength. There are 4 12t gears driving the 2 60t turntables. This made the gear train much more robust. When I only had 1 12t gear per turntable, it sometimes would skip. The 28t gears were the largest I could fit in that spot which helped make the rest of the gear train lower torque. I used this same technique for all the high-stress joints. The highest stress joint on the bottom has the most complicated gear train. It has 16:20, 12:36, 12:20, 8:28, 12:60 gearing packed in the base to allow the XL motor to drive it.
  11. I have made a lot of progress on this robotic arm. At first, I did a bunch of optimizing of various structures, made it look a little better with better colors, and a few other things. I ended up with this: This is still basically the same as before, just incrementally improved. The big problem here is that the final couple parts of the robotic arm are too heavy for the large turntable and the way the construction works is very cumbersome to take apart. In order to get the top part of the arm apart, it needs to be taken apart into many small pieces -- not very modular. This was the best I was able to build with 100% pure Lego pieces. The next step was to use a 3D printed part designed by @efferman that allows transmitting 3 functions through a turntable: This can be found at This was a revolution. I was able to make the end of the arm much smaller and lighter. It works much better and is now a very modular build. Here's what the new one looks like: The motors have moved to the back of the arm for good balance. This allowed me to move the hub down onto the arm which reduces stress on the bottom joint. It also is very modular. The red pins and parts typically indicate the parts to remove to take it apart into big pieces: Every joint now works well in my testing. Software is now a challenge. The hubs pictured here are the Spike Prime hubs. I'm actually using them with the Robot Inventor firmware for my tests. RI does not allow controlling multiple hubs simultaneously which has some work-arounds. It also has some incompatibilities with the L and XL motors I used -- you can't read the position on those. I could convert to use just standard technic hubs but the form factor is not nearly as nice. I'm still figuring out my options here. I have an email into Lego support about the incompatibility problems with the L and XL motors. We will see what they say. Retrospective Building this had different challenges than I thought it would when I started. I thought the big challenge would be designing the gear trains -- and they are complicated. I use 6 different differentials and precise gear ratios to eliminate coupling of functions sent through turntables. The most complicated is the top unit: This gearing allows rotating the turntable without unwanted movement in any of the other axes. The real challenge was the limitations in the strength and rigidity of the lego parts themselves. Every time I was able to improve bracing, make it more rigid, or have better form locking, everything worked better. I went through many iterations coming up with better structures. There are still things that are not as good as I would like but I think it is pretty good right now. I also found wire routing challenging. A lot of work went into routing wires well which you can see in the above picture and a couple others: That last picture also shows a color sensor I am using for calibration. I haven't been able to build a full calibration routine because of the software limitations I mentioned earlier. Another thing that has been challenging that I didn't suspect was something I'll call "color engineering". I want the colors to be clean and look nice. I don't want to see blue pins or axle pins anywhere. I ended up re-engineering different parts to eliminate the blue axle pins. I couldn't eliminate all of them so I did end up buying some of the expensive black axle pins on Bricklink. When I first built this, almost all parts were common and purchasable on Brick and Pieces but to get the colors right, I needed to buy rare parts. Some of the lime green parts are hard to find. Anyway, I wouldn't call this project done but I think most of the work now will be software related so if I end up posting about it, I will probably move it to the Mindstorms forum. I posted this here because the Mindstorms components are pretty much incidental right now. Most of my development was done with Technic hubs. It was a super fun project. I would love to hear any comments and suggestions on improvements.
  12. I would like to hear some basics about the part development process. How was it decided to build these specific parts? What were the biggest challenges in designing them? What were the tradeoffs in the design? Any regrets about the final design? Anything you would do differently next time?
  13. Glaysche

    latest lego quality standards

    My collection is not as old as some here but I have not seen parts breaking nearly as much as is being reported here. I have a couple ideas. Maybe different manufacturing plants are producing different quality parts? Some people (or even whole regions of the world) are unlucky and getting poorer quality parts? Another thought I have is that exposure to sunlight might cause the plastic to get more brittle. If models are on the shelf in the sun, could that cause the parts to degrade and break more often?
  14. Glaysche

    [MOC] Christmas Tree (of Doom)

    This is hilarious. I love it.
  15. Glaysche

    Mindstorms General Discussion

    To follow up on my own post, this is what I am working on. I’ve done most of my testing with Powered Up hubs and app. The Spike Prime / RI hubs are much nicer and I would vastly prefer using those. This robotic arm has a large angular motor for rotation which seems to work fine. The XL motor is on the bottom tilt axis. 5 L motors control the other axes. Oh, I should mention the Spike Prime hubs have 51515 firmware and I’m using the 51515 iPad app. I’m using these because I think the yellow looks better than the teal in this application. I suspect the RI hub will have the same behavior.